The Texas Tech women’s basketball program isn’t where athletic director Kirby Hocutt imagined it would be at the beginning of the 2011-12 season.
The Lady Raiders were 14-0 and ranked in the top 10 six weeks ago but nosedived during Big 12 Conference play and likely need to win their remaining three games to reach the NCAA tournament. Tech is 17-10 overall, 5-10 in the Big 12 and in a three-way tie for seventh place.
Brown still white-hot
Junior guard Chynna Brown led Texas Tech with 21 points against Kansas on Tuesday, matching a season-high.
Brown became the first Tech player to score 20 or more points in two games this season. She’s led the team in scoring in three of the last four games.
“Just coming off the screens hard,” Brown said. “If I’m open just shooting the ball and not thinking about it so much. And just trying to be aggressive, getting to the goal anytime I could.”
Brown made her fourth consecutive start and her 10 field goals were a career-high.
Texas Tech’s up-and-down season reached its lowest point Tuesday.
After a 69-64 loss to a reeling Kansas team at United Spirit Arena, the Lady Raiders will likely need to win all three of their remaining games for a chance at a return trip to the NCAA tournament.
Two of Tech’s final three games will be on the road, beginning Saturday at No. 14 Texas A&M. The Lady Raiders then host and close out the season March 3 at Kansas State.
Baylor certainly seems to bring out the best in Texas Tech.
Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey said as much after her team downed the Lady Raiders 56-51 on Saturday at the Ferrell Center.
“That basketball team plays like that every night, they wouldn’t be whatever they are in the league right now,” Mulkey said Saturday.
A backhanded compliment? Perhaps.
But it’s hard to escape the truth of Mulkey’s statement.
The silver lining for Texas Tech after Saturday’s 56-51 loss to top-ranked Baylor is that the Lady Raiders still have a shot at reaching the NCAA tournament.
“Hopefully, we’re going to be able to finish this thing strong,” Tech coach Kristy Curry said. “You get in the eyes of the (NCAA selection) committee, they have to take a look at your scores every once in awhile.”
Despite losing four of six games in February and each of its last six road games, Tech controls its own destiny and, with four games remaining, has enough time left to salvage the season.
Texas Tech’s 56-51 loss to Baylor on Saturday was eerily familiar.
When the two teams met in Waco last year the Lady Raiders led 29-28 at the break before shooting 27 percent in the second half and falling 64-51. Tech outrebounded Baylor in that game, 36-32.
The Lady Raiders led 35-30 at halftime Saturday and shot 22 percent in the second half. They outrebounded the Lady Bears, 38-37.
Asked why Baylor seems to bring out the best in Tech, Baylor coach Kim Mulkey was stumped.
“I don’t know,” she said. “How about just call it good coaching?”
WACO — There is ample evidence that Texas Tech plays better and tougher against No. 1 Baylor than any team in the country.
The Lady Raiders once again played their hearts out Saturday, leading Baylor at halftime and outrebounding the Lady Bears from start to finish, but the end result was an all-too-familiar one.
Tech shot 22 percent in the second half, and Baylor centers Brittney Griner and Destiny Williams notched double-doubles to lead the Lady Bears to a 56-51 victory, clinching a share of the Big 12 title.